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Palliative Care Formulary (PCF8) Eighth Edition

Palliative Care Formulary (PCF8) Eighth Edition

Edited by Andrew Wilcock, Paul Howard and Sarah Charlesworth



Independent, specialist information, grounded in clinical practice. Unrivalled and expert drug information for caring for adult patients facing progressive life-limiting diseases, from diagnosis to end of life care.

Published1st Aug, 2022
Dimensions216 x 138 mm
Page count976


Rigorously researched information grounded in clinical practice tailored for use in palliative and hospice care settings. This trusted source goes beyond standard references, providing health professionals with in-depth, practical guidance on drugs and treatment regimens to help improve quality of life.

Updates in the new edition:

  • Renamed monograph (Tricyclic antidepressants) and two discontinued - (Carbamazepine and Danazol)

Fully reviewed and updated monographs including for:

  • Individual strong opioid analgesic drug monographs and Quick Clinical Guides
  • Antidepressants class and individual drug monographs
  • Anti-epileptics class and individual drug monographs including a significantly updated section on the management of seizures and the use of subcutaneous levetiracetam
  • Bisphosphonates monograph including the 2020 ESMO clinical practice guidelines and a new joint summary table for the indications of use for bisphosphonates and denosumab in palliative care
  • Denosumab monograph including the 2020 ESMO clinical practice guidelines
  • Drugs and fitness to drive chapter including updates to the summary table of the available evidence for sedative drugs
  • Renal impairment chapter including significant changes to the sections on assessing renal function, and opioid use in renal impairment
  • Drug administration to patients with swallowing difficulties or enteral feeding tubes chapter including a new step-wise approach for alternative formulations, and a fully updated table on commonly used alternative product

Targeted updates to monographs including:

  • H2-receptor antagonists monograph updated to reflect the alternative oral and parenteral options due to the world-wide absence of ranitidine
  • Proton pump inhibitors monograph significant updates to the parenteral administration section
  • Clonidine monograph, involving significant updates to the dose and use section and a new summary of dexmedetomidine use
  • Drugs for diabetes monograph updated to include the 2021 Diabetes UK guidelines and the 2021 Joint British Diabetes Societies Inpatient Care Group guidelines.
  • Significant changes to the sections on corticosteroid-induced diabetes mellitus, the management of hypoglycaemia, and the management of spikes of
  • hyperglycaemia in the last few weeks of life
  • Systemic corticosteroids significant updates on the risks of adrenal insufficiency including information about the new steroid emergency card and information on the
  • evidence of use for appetite stimulation
  • Anaphylaxis appendix updated to reflect the 2021 Resuscitation Council UK guidelines.

PCF8 also includes several Quick Clinical Guides covering key topics in palliative care and designed for everyday use.

The use of medicinal products beyond (off-label) and without (unauthorized) marketing authorization

Drug names & Abbreviations

Part 1:  Drug Monographs

1. Gastro-intestinal system

• Antacids and antiflatulents
• Antimuscarinics
• Prokinetics
• H2-receptor antagonists
• Proton pump inhibitors
• Loperamide
• Laxatives
• Topical products for haemorrhoids
• Pancreatin

2. Cardiovascular system
Systemic local anaesthetics
• *Clonidine
• Glyceryl trinitrate
• Nifedipine
• Anticoagulants
• Haemostatics

3. Respiratory system
• Bronchodilators
• Inhaled corticosteroids
• Oxygen
• Drugs for cough

4. Central nervous system
• Benzodiazepines and Z-drugs
• Melatonin
• Antipsychotics
• Antidepressants
• *Psychostimulants
• *Cannabinoids
• Anti-emetics
• Anti-epileptics

5. Analgesics
• Principles of use of analgesics
• Adjuvant analgesics
• Paracetamol
• Nefopam
• Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
• Weak opioids
• Strong opioids
• Opioid antagonists (therapeutic target within the CNS)
• Opioid antagonists (therapeutic target outside the CNS)

6. Infections
• Antibacterials in palliative care
• Oral candidosis
• Metronidazole
• Rifampicin
• Urinary tract infections
• Cellulitis in a lymphoedematous limb

7. Endocrine system and immunomodulation
• Bisphosphonates
• Denosumab
• Systemic corticosteroids
• Demeclocycline
• Desmopressin
• Drugs for diabetes mellitus
• *Octreotide
• Progestogens
• *Thalidomide

8. Urinary tract disorders
• Tamsulosin
• Urinary antimuscarinics
• Methenamine hippurate
• Catheter patency solutions
• Discoloured urine

9. Nutrition and blood
• Anaemia
• Ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
• Vitamin K
• Potassium
• Magnesium
• Zinc

10. Musculoskeletal and joint diseases
• Depot corticosteroid injections
• Rubefacients and other topical products
• Skeletal muscle relaxants

11. Ear, nose and oropharynx
• Mouthwashes
• Artificial saliva
• Pilocarpine
• Drugs for oral inflammation and ulceration
• Cerumenolytics

12. Skin
• Emollients
• Topical antipruritics
• Barrier products

13. Anaesthesia
• *Ketamine
• *Propofol

Part 2:  Prescribing in palliative care

14. Prescribing in palliative care
15.Anticipatory prescribing in the community
16. Prescribing for children
17. Renal impairment
18. Hepatic impairment
19. Variability in response to drugs
20. Prolongation of the QT interval in palliative care
21. Drug-induced movement disorders
22. Drugs and fitness to drive
23.Taking controlled and prescription drugs to other countries
24. Obtaining specials
25. Management of postoperative pain in opioid-dependent patients
26. Drugs for pruritus
27. Oral nutritional supplements

Part 3 Routes of administration

28. Drug administration to patients with swallowing difficulties or enteral feeding tubes
29.Continuous subcutaneous drug infusions
30.Transdermal patches
31. Nebulized drugs
32. Spinal analgesia

A1. Anaphylaxis
A2. Opioid dose conversion ratios
A3. Compatibility charts



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